Barclays has launched a £100m debt finance fund in a bid to help fast-growth tech companies rival US counterparts.

Businesses can access up to £5m each, repayable over three years, provided VC funding has already been secured. This will enable them to focus on areas typically seen as more risky by equity investors, like R&D, sales and marketing, without having to give away any equity in their company.

Ashok Vaswani, chief executive of Barclays Personal and Corporate Banking, said: “This new fund offers a welcome boost to growing UK technology firms, and will provide a catalyst for their development into larger companies. It logyot been widely available to UK businessesis part of our plans to deliver the kind of pro-growth financial backing for UK business that US firms already enjoy.

“We identified a significant gap in the traditional way technology businesses were financed, and with this new drive we will be truly able to support businesses right from their inception, to becoming major global players.

“Entrepreneurs and SMEs are the life blood of the UK economy and the technology sector is an incredible incubator for many of these talented individuals and businesses. The rapid growth we’ve seen in the UK rivals the activity and dynamism of Silicon Valley with record levels of investment from the US into London-based technology firms in particular.”